Worship Services | Sundays | 8:30 AM & 10:45 AM


How should I handle moral dilemmas in the workplace?

At my place of work my boss is very blunt about how we should show support of current culture trends that I believe are sinful. I feel like if I say to her that I’m uncomfortable with this topic and disagree, she will interpret it as me or others not caring for people that are different.  She is very opinionated and tells us that we should be respectful of people’s choices. I’m having an internal struggle on how to approach this without it causing division.  Can you please give advice on the best way to handle these moral dilemmas in the workplace?

This is a difficult question, in part because the nuances of a given situation affect the response. It’s also a difficult question because sometimes there is not a clear right or wrong answer.

I recently spoke to a mom, who had been asked to help sell concessions at her son’s little league baseball game. After arriving, the mom discovered that much of what would be sold would be alcohol products. Although this mother didn’t believe the consumption of alcohol to be sinful, she did not feel comfortable about selling it at a children’s baseball game.

A few months back, I spoke with a school teacher, who had been told that all faculty and staff would be given and expected to wear LBGTQ+ t-shirts on a particular day to affirm, include, and celebrate those who chose to live that lifestyle. This teacher called in sick on that day.

These issues aren’t new. You may recall Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Daniel 3. King Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone to worship a man-made idol. When they said, “no,” they were put in a fiery furnace.

Because every situation is a bit different, and since these issues are becoming more common and prevalent, let me provide a few transferable questions that can be asked in various situations to help Christ-followers best determine how moral dilemmas should be handled in the workplace.

The first question is: What is being asked for support? Although this may be obvious, it’s crucial to clarify. It could be a booster group wanting financial support for various initiatives–some of which you may agree with, while others you may not. It could be an issue of personal preference, such as how to best address the issue of poverty. It could be gender transformation or identity, illegal substances, corrupt politics, etc. I have heard numerous stories of people working in businesses, who were asked to remain silent about shady practices or lack of integrity. Sadly, this is all too common in our world, but it’s important to clarify the issue being asked for support.

Once it is clear what is being asked for support, it is important to understand what is meant by support? Support may imply remaining quiet about other people’s life choices in a workplace setting. In other cases, support may include participation in an LBGTQ+ rally, affirmation, or celebration. Support could also mean being asked to promote or refer clients to a particular product, solution, or service that would be biblically sinful. An example of this would be a doctor asking his staff to point his patients toward gender transformation products or services. 

Finally, we must ask: Is supporting this behavior or practice in this way sin? Knowing God’s word, along with the preceding questions are vital because clarifying what is supported and how support is conveyed helps us diagnose if our support would actually be sinful. For example, selling alcohol to adults at a children’s baseball game is not illegal; but, it may very well be contrary to a person’s convictions. This is not explicitly sin, but it may be very unwise, unhelpful, and unfruitful. Practicing gender transformation or getting an abortion may be legal, but God is not pleased with either of these choices because they distort or destroy the life He has created.

After asking these questions, it’s also imperative to remember several things:

  1. Our choices affect others. We should respect people. They are, in fact, created in God’s image, but everyone may not feel fully respected in the way they want. We know that our personal choices affect those around us. We live out of the love of Christ and to the glory of Christ. In doing so, we must carefully consider how our choices affect those around us. For example, if you speak negatively about someone, you are opening the door to hurt and conflict. Or, if you celebrate a way of life that morally contradicts the way of God, you communicate that you desire those who walk in that way to live separated from God. We must pay close attention to the way our choices affect others in order to respect and care for them in a God-honoring way.
  2. We must biblically care for others. Romans 12 says, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” (Romans 12:9,13-14,17, ESV). We should be very intentional about how we extend care to those around us. True care is not rooted in the affirmation of behavior; rather, it is pointing people to their true source of hope: Christ. Therefore, it is imperative that we care in such a way that offers God-glorifying value to others.
  3. Moral dilemmas in the workplace may cause Christians to suffer. Although suffering has been a present reality for Christians throughout most of history, we, in America, have experienced very little (if any) suffering like we’ve seen throughout biblical history. Simply put, we’re not used to our faith in Christ costing us in significant ways. Yet, the Bible points out that suffering is to be expected as Christ-followers. Our suffering–as Christ-followers–is for our good. For example 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 says: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” Our suffering–even as it may lead to bodily death–will not destroy us. Instead, our suffering draws us closer to Christ. We may be asked to suffer as we follow the Jesus-way.
  4. God is on the throne. Job reminds us of this as he talks to God: “I know you (God) can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2). There is nothing God can’t do. God’s providence reigns and triumphs, always!
  5. Remember, this is a spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:12 tells us: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Spiritual battles are not won with words or convincing arguments. No, spiritual battles are won by our humble reliance upon God in prayer. So, humble yourself before God, and pray. Pray, seeking God’s wisdom in your particular situation. Ask for the Spirit to lead you in a way that honors God and communicates God’s grace to the other person.
  6. Choose grace. You must remember your own potential to sin and cause brokenness. As you do, while also realizing that Jesus loves you in the midst of your sin, you will be equipped to extend that same grace to others. That’s the hope we have in Christ. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, ESV). If there’s no hope for those walking in sins that are common in our modern culture (i.e. LGBTQ+, gender transition), there’s no hope for us either. Jesus died for the sins of those who surrender themselves and place their trust in Him. There is no wrong a person can do that overpowers the grace of God in a faith-filled life. So, choose grace. Love unconditionally by pointing those around you to the Good News of the gospel.

All of us will likely encounter many difficult cultural situations in our lifetimes, and an increasing number of Christ-followers will face moral dilemmas in the workplace. To have the most enduring impact, we must point others to Christ.



Will FBC host VBS this summer?

To listen to Pastor Mike’s response click below or read the article.

I was recently asked if FBC would host VBS (Vacation Bible School) this summer. The short answer is no, however this is an important question. Below, you will find three relevant questions and my responses.

Why not host VBS this summer?
From what I’ve heard, VBS has been a very positive experience for many years at FBC. Kids and grandkids of those who are connected to FBC, along with others in the community, would show up to learn, grow spiritually, and be encouraged in Christ. When I came to be your pastor, I was told that VBS had not happened for the past few years. Given this and the fact that we are a bit under-staffed–vocationally and with volunteers–for many of the ministries we already maintain, the staff and I thought it would be wise to wait to make decisions about VBS until a later date. In addition to this, I have been spending a significant amount of my time with existing ministries–listening, learning, and praying–in order to discern how best to utilize existing church resources (i.e. staff, volunteers, finances, property). Also, FBC’s Awana ministry–a weekly ministry to elementary-aged kids during the school year–functions very similar to a VBS program. All in all, we decided to wait and pray before adding VBS to our ministry line-up.

Is VBS important?
I understand that VBS has been a meaningful ministry to many–including my family–for a long time. This is important. However, it is not VBS, in particular, which is of greatest value. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples…” This is known as the Great Commission. It’s a command, which those of us who are Christ-followers must obey as we walk with Christ. A significant part of what it means to be a Christ-follower in this world is to pursue the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We do this on Sunday mornings, in Bible studies, at Awana, in the youth ministry, and in many other ways at FBC. Yet, we must also intentionally look outside our church body to reach out.

VBS can be an effective way of reaching out to our community. But, there are many other effective ways to do so as well. In order to become a church who truly treasures God and loves people, we must practice the “going” part of making disciples. Furthermore, we must also be intentional about doing this with the younger ones of our community. FBC has a wonderful history of investing in the next generation. This should and must continue. Will it be with VBS? We don’t know yet. It may or may not; but, we do know that we must be intentional about going and making disciples as a church, as well as investing in the next generation.

How will we evaluate doing VBS in the future?
As Pastor George Myers begins serving as the Next Gen Pastor, this will be a point of conversation and prayer. One of the things I emphasized with Pastor George in the interview process was that we want to be a church that is intentional about the Great Commission. This will involve accurately understanding our community context of Taylor County, evaluating FBC’s existing ministries and resources, and asking God to lead us in such a way that it becomes more clear how we, as FBC, are to live out the Great Commission in our community with young people. We have been extremely blessed by God as a church, and therefore, we must go and be a blessing.

WEEK OF JULY 30, 2023

Where’s the pastor at the close of the service?
The brief answer to your question is: I usually stand toward the front of the sanctuary as each worship service concludes.

Depending on the pastor and the church you attend, at times you may notice that a pastor will stand at the exit of the sanctuary to greet many in the congregation as they leave. This provides a quick exchange of pleasantries between the pastor and those in the congregation. Although I have done this occasionally, I don’t make it my usual practice.

Although I appreciate the idea of standing at the doors to greet people, this practice is much more common in smaller churches, in which there are fewer people who need to exit the worship area. Over the years, I have found that waiting in a space that is not in the normal traffic flow after worship services makes me more accessible to people for questions, biblical conversations, and prayer. These pastoral functions are a bit encumbered when a line of people waits to greet the pastor at the exit because most people appreciate some level of privacy when they share and pray with the pastor.

Because I try to stay out of the normal traffic flow, I’ve found that, on a typical Sunday, I am speaking with and/or praying with several people after each service. If I don’t see anyone coming my way, I generally start walking out into the lobby to connect with others.

If ever you would like to ask a question, pray together, or just say “hi,” please come find me at the front of the sanctuary after worship services.

After Pastor George arrives, we will have three pastors on staff. Which pastor should I contact if I have a question about the church?

This is a great question, which I addressed at a recent FBC congregational meeting. Ultimately, you can contact any one of the pastors when you have questions about the Bible or the church. We would be happy to do our best to either answer your questions or find the answers for you.

However, let me give you a little more guidance, which may be helpful:

Pastor George will be our Next Generation Pastor. He is likely the best person to contact if you have questions about next gen ministries such as nursery, beginner’s church, children’s Sunday school, Awana, and jr. & sr. high youth group. Pastor George will be officially starting on Sunday, August 27. You can contact him at myers@fbcmedford.com.

With Pastor George and I both being new to staff, Pastor Tim’s role has shifted a bit. He will now be the Care & Administrative Pastor at FBC. Although he will still lead Bible studies, teach Sunday school, preach occasionally, and oversee the senior adult ministry, he will give significantly more attention to the care and operations ministries of the church. These ministries include: biblical counseling, weddings, funerals, congregational care, finance, facilities, and office operations. Pastor Tim can be reached at becker@fbcmedford.com.

Feel free to contact me, as the Lead Pastor, if you have a question about the preaching and teaching, church vision or leadership, staff, missions, or any of FBC’s connect ministries, such as: life groups Bible studies, membership, greeters, welcome center, Mom’s & Munchkins, or men’s/women’s ministries. My email is barnhart@fbcmedford.com.

Because we are intentional about stewarding our work time well, we often pre-plan our weekly schedules. Sometimes we will be working in the office, while other times we’ll be out, either studying or at appointments with those in our church and community. Therefore, the best way to get in touch with us is typically to send an email or call the church office (715-748-4936) to schedule an appointment. We care about you and want to be available to you, as we are able. Our desire is to come alongside you in order to shepherd you to Christ.